Summer Crafts for Kids: Watercolor Painting & Ice Cream Crafting

Summer is in full swing for us which means lots of fun summer crafts for kids, and of course lots of ice cream too! We decided to get creative with the idea of “cooling off” by enjoying some watercolor ice painting, and a cute paper plate ice cream craft. Enjoy these activities outside as they are perfect for a warm summery day. 

Melting Watercolor Canvas

Start with a new take on summer crafts for kids with an unusual canvas! This simple process art activity never fails to mesmerize my kids!

Materials Needed:

child hand holding blue paint brush, painting ice cubes on tray

1. Get the ice ready

First, stay organized when using ice as a canvas. Place a few handfuls of ice cubes onto a tray, then put out the watercolor paints, paint brushes and the pot of water (all of these are perfect for other summer crafts for kids).

child painting ice cubes in tray with watercolors

2. Paint, paint, paint!

Next, dip your brushes in the water and cover them in bright and beautiful Chroma Blends Watercolors ready to paint the ice with splashes of rainbows.

colorful ice cubes in trays with watercolors next to them

3. Watch out for color mixing!

As time goes on ask your child to study what is happening to the ice cubes. 

Encourage your child to keep painting until all of their ice cubes are covered in color and then leave the trays in the sun for about 15 minutes before checking on what has changed. It left a really neat marble effect on the tray. 

colorful ice cubes melting in white tray

4. I’m meeeelting!

Of course the ice will eventually completely melt, but that by no means has to end the fun. You can always then pop the entire tray in the freezer to make a big colorful ice cube canvas ready to paint on and melt all over again tomorrow!

Process art has so many wonderful benefits, but I love how this activity allows for so much freedom when painting with the watercolors. There are no lines to paint inside of, or specific end product to be achieved. It’s simply an opportunity to experiment with colors and explore a new sensory canvas. What’s your child’s favorite unusual canvas?

Glittery Ice Cream Cones

No summer is complete without my kids enjoying one or two trips to the local ice cream shop. There’s always so much excitement discussing flavor choices and topping combinations. One of our favorite ways to get creative is to use everyday excitement as a crafting prompt.

Materials Needed:

1. Prep your supplies!

Start by cutting out a few large ice cream scoop shapes from the paper plates, as well as prepping the cones by painting one piece of card stock with a light brown shade of watercolor paint. Leave this one to dry for later.

child hand dipping orange paintbrush into pink watercolor with white plate and pink paint on it

2. Time to choose flavors!

Next, use different types of watercolors to make the scoops as colorful as possible. In the end it was clear that our little artist really wanted her ice cream to be rainbow flavor! 

child using rainbow glitter dot paint on colorful paper plate

3. It’s all about the toppings!

Now carefully arrange neon sprinkles all over the ice cream scoops. This is also a great opportunity to sneak in some early numeracy in these summer crafts for kids as we counted how many sprinkles of each color we were adding.

Finally, add some sparkle with the fun Mini Dots Pixie Paste Glitter Glue. We used the brushes to dot different colors of shimmery glue over the scoops.

ice cream cones made out of paper plates

4. Assemble the yumminess!

As the masterpieces were drying, we cut out the cone shapes from the light brown card stock we had painted earlier. Then we added crossing lines to give that authentic waffle cone appearance. Once all of the fabulous toppings were dry, we simply glued the scoop and cone together. 

It’s truly magical how much conversation results from simple summer crafts for kids. I love seeing my toddler completely engrossed in her creative ideas and it’s even better when she wants to share that passion through discussions. Happy summer!